by Hope Madden
Who’s eager for another Dracula movie? Because that is not the single most worn out, overused, tired storyline in cinematic history. But wait – what if there was something you didn’t yet know about Dracula? Something untold?
If you’re thinking not even then, well Dracula Untold goes to show just how wise you are.
What amounts to the love child of Bram Stoker and George R. R. Martin, Dracula Untold takes a decidedly Game of Thrones angle to share the old bloodsucker’s origins story. Full of epic battles, impaling, damsels in distress, and even two Thrones actors (Art Parkinson and a woefully underused Charles Dance), it’s a medieval bloodbath and unfortunate snoozefest.
An oh-so-earnest Luke Evans (The Hobbit) trades in Middle Earth for the Middle Ages as Vlad, once The Impaler, now the peace-seeking prince of Transylvania. He had a crisis of conscience after all that impaling with the Turkish army and now just wants to live peaceably with his lovely wife and son. But the Turks are having none of it, and without a real army of his own, he turns to an evil force to help him protect his kingdom and his family.
Evans makes for a fine dreamy, noble, tragic vampire if you’re into that kind of thing, and if that’s your bag you might enjoy the first 60 minutes or so of this film. But then – by the time the rest of us are fidgeting in our seats, having abandoned all hope for a film with real bite – first time director Gary Shore throws some creepy, gory bits at you.
It’s not enough to make the film tolerable for horror fans, but probably too much for the romance lovers.
For anyone interested in a lucid film, first time screenwriters Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless leave you with more questions than answers as they bend, introduce and retool vampire lore to suit them. Look past the moony love story and there’s a whole lot of silliness underneath.
Worse still are the dialog profundities. At one point, the Turks employ some Jedi shit, blindfolding the entire army because, “You can’t fear what you can’t see.”
What kind of counter intuitive nonsense is that? Plus, imagine how idiotic it looks to march an entirely blindfolded army up the side of a mountain. Ridiculous.
I know Game of Thrones Season 5 is a long way off, but Dracula Untold won’t satisfy your jones.